Booker T Washington and W.E.B Dubois were both very vocal about the state of African Americans at the time that the time that they lived in. Both Washington and DuBois Wrote speeches and essays about the status of blacks in the post-civil war era. Washingtonwas born A slave in Virginia in 1856.
In 1895, Washington presented the “Atlanta Exposition or the”Atlanta Compromise” in front of a majority white audience at the Cotton States International Exposition. The Atlanta Compromise would go on to be one of his most prominent works. On the other hand, DuBois was also a famous writer, speaker, and activist.
W.E.B DuBois was born to a free black family in Massachusetts, where he became very educated at an early age and throughout his later life. In 1903 DuBois published his essay titled “The Souls Of Black Folk”. Some small portions of this essay had been published beforehand in the famous magazine “The Atlantic”.
Both writers often spoke on how to solve racial inequality. Even though they both wanted to achieve the same ultimate goal of racial equality and integration, they both had two very different ideas to get to them. Washington’s plan was to allow the races to both mutually help rebuild the southern states after the civil war but to not mix their lives in a social aspect or in any other portion of their lives.
DuBois had thought the opposite saying that black Americans should have actively fought towards equality.In both Du Bois’s “The souls of Black Folk” and Washington’s “Atlanta Exposition both writers had used figurative language devices and Rhetorical devices to establish their point of views of integration and mutual reliance as it contributed to the ideas of power and persuasiveness throughout the text. Throughout their essays, Washington and DuBois had used many different figurative language techniques such as repetition, metaphors, and similes to convey their respective messages on power and persuasion in the texts. In the souls of black folk by DuBois, there were many usages of figurative language devices in the essay such as repetition, similes, and metaphors.
Through a large portion of “The Souls of Black Folk”, DuBois often spoke about a ‘veil’ that had separated the two races of the southern states in all activities such as politics and social along with every other aspect of their lives. DuBois repetitively mentions this throughout which is a figurative language technique used to further the importance of the point to the main or central idea. Washington also used figurative language in repetition in his texts. In the introduction of his speech, he had repeatedly said: “cast down your bucket where you are”(Washington, 1895, par 3). He continues to at this line because he wanted to let the primarily white audience of the cotton convention that he agreed with their perspective that blacks were in the wrong by not accepting the white southerners help but instead moving to the north instead of rebuilding their homes. DuBois repeated this to strengthen his message but DuBois also used other figurative language devices to push his overall message for racial equality in the future. For example, Washington used other figurative language devices such as “In all things purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress(Washington,1895,par.
5).”By this Washington was stating the blacks and whites should not necessarily have to share social lives but would have to help to actively rebuild the south. Furthermore, W.E.B DuBois and Booker T Washington both heavily used rhetorical devices to further push their messages of power and persuasion more than they had already done. A rhetorical device is a figurative language technique that utilizes similes, metaphors, personification, hyperboles, oxymorons, understatements and repetition. One example of a rhetorical device being used in the text was Washington’s use of metaphors in his speech. In his speech, he says “No race can prosper until it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem”(Washington,1895,p.
5).” Washington says this in order to further his persuasion techniques at the cotton convention of 1895. What he says means that blacks, in order to help further the progress of the South American states, must first recognize that they must attain more than physical skills if they wish to rebuild their homes. DuBois also used rhetorical devices in his text.
In The Souls of Black Folk, DuBois says ” Away back in the days of bondage they thought to see in one divine event the end of all doubt and disappointment; few men ever worshipped Freedom with half such unquestioning faith as did the American Negro for two centuries. To him, so far as he thought and dreamed, slavery was indeed the sum of all villainies, the cause of all sorrow, the root of all prejudice; Emancipation was the key to a promised land”(DuBois,1903,p.6).To the readers, this quote describes how DuBois knew how much that American blacks wanted and compares the feeling of emancipation to a promised land. In conclusion, both Booker T. Washington and William Edward Burghardt Du Bois were both very vocal advocates of racial equality at their time, even if they were done differently.
Similarly, both authors wrote speeches and essays about the status of blacks at the time that they had lived. Both used Figurative language and rhetorical devices to push each of their ideas of power, for W.E.B DuBois, and persuasion for Booker T.
Washington. ReferenceWashington, B. T. (1895). Booker T. Washington and his critics: the problem of Negro leadership.
Boston: D.C. Heath and Company.
B., D. B. (1903).
The souls of Black folk. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Penguin Books.